(Adds details on lowered 2014 forecast)
April 24 (Reuters) - U.S. drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co reported lower-than-expected quarterly revenue on Thursday, hurt by disappointing sales of its cancer and diabetes drugs, and trimmed its 2014 profit forecast.
Lilly said it earned $728 million, or 68 cents per share, in the first quarter. It had profit of $1.55 billion, or $1.42 per share, a year earlier, when Lilly posted special gains from transferring rights to a diabetes drug.
Excluding special items, Lilly earned 70 cents per share, matching the average estimate of analysts, as compiled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
Revenue fell 16 percent to $4.68 billion while Wall Street expected $4.8 billion.
Lilly said it now expects earnings of $2.72 to $2.80 per share, excluding items, in full-year 2014. In January, the Indianapolis-based drugmaker forecast $2.77 to $2.85.
(Reporting by Ransdell Pierson; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)